How to diagnose steering box?


Founding Member
Jun 28, 1999
Los Angeles
Hey guys,
What is the proper way to diagnose a loose/bad steering box? The car is currently on jack stands and right now I only have the pitman arm connected to the sector shaft - that's it.
I can turn the pitman arm by hand (not too hard to turn, not very easy to do so either) and I can feel a little bit of play somewhere in the radius of the steering box.

Should the pitman arm be really hard to turn by hand?

Thanks in advance,

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Due to the basic design of the steering box, and the reversal of ratio, it is harder to turn the box by the sector shaft than by the input shaft, but it can be done.

What is important is that the box should feel tighter in the center of travel than anywhere else. This is the center gear mesh that keeps the box tight when going straight, which is where the car is going most of the time. The difference is hard to measure without the proper tools, but it needs to be there. If not, then the box is either out of adjustment or the gear teeth are worn out.